tv Two Down and One to Go 1945 CSPAN May 16, 2015 10:01am-10:33am EDT
has been a singular honor with me to sit up with you this evening. [applause] >> you're watching american history tv. all weekend, every weekend on c-span not. to join the conversation, like us on facebook at cspanhistory. each week, american history tv's reel america brings you archival film the help tell the story of the 20th century. "two down and one to go" is a
delivered europe to the masses, two of our enemies have been -- we have come far from the days that shook the war world. i salute the members of the armed forces of the night states for courage and -- throughout the african and european campaigns. i salute those who have fought in india china, and burma. the fact is, we have been fighting not one war, but one global war. the war at which our axis enemies are striking halfway across the world and threatened to join forces in the middle east, just isolating china and russia. how that ever been successful, the combined strength of the coalition would end with the
dissection of the free nation of the world one by one. we had to consider the possibility that after the call but at asia, africa, and europe, germany and the british isles that she may join with japan in attacks on our coastal cities. by that time, we would have been fighting alone and virtually surrounded. the outlook was serious. a grave decision had to be made. therefore, our strategy was, is to prevent, at all costs the partnership of germany and japan. second, to crush them one at a time. we had to destroy the nazis first, because the great -- of our country could ill be modern miracle of building ships for all out war, it was necessary to fuse the shorter supply of relief to european theaters and the longer see lanes of the
pacific. second more, an offense against japan would have required large table forces. the attack on pearl harbor had so damaged our fleet that made us unable to render that. the naval program would need at least two years to meet. we could not wait that long. in europe, we had fighting allies already at its with the enemy. ♪ in england, we had a basis from which to -- we had basis from which to launch our air fire. in the pacific, we had no basis near japan and no strong allies, no matter how brave. most important, america needed a committed force in the european theater, because the axis partner had russia and britain on the ropes.
if we had contemplated on japan and defeated it, we then may have been confronted with a germany that either had defeated russia and britain, or at the least have become so strong, it would be almost impeccable to our delayed attacks. -- impeccable to our -- iomp mpregnable to our delayed attacks. leslie made the choice to attack your. first we would attack germany from the air. then we would invade europe and destroy the german armies. with our allies, we want the battle of europe. but without the sacrifice is -- of our pacific naval, air, and ground forces under splendid leadership that now shines an hour -- this but illusion of that now shines in europe would not have been possible. -- so that we may concentrate
our offensive power against nazi germany. as we gathered strength for the pacific and closed in on the enemy, destroying ships and planes in preparation for the final keel. we want the battle of europe. but the war, the global war would not be one until we had exterminated japanese military power. the japanese at pearl harbor. -- and malaysia. if japan committed to 100 years of war and sacrifice, if necessary.
check it we are prepared to lose 10 million lives in our war with america. >> eight japan committed to world domination. a japan whose home front is united behind the enemy war effort. [cheering] now, together with our allies, we could contemplate putting power against this treacherous enemy and read the war primarily of this menace. we can do this it every american in or out of uniform keep in the front of their minds, the plane site that we would not have won this war nor can we enjoy any peace, until japan is completely crushed. >> two down and one to go!
[gong] >> to defeat japan as quickly as we can permanently, we must now assemble, readjust, and streamline our world forces in order to apply the maximum power. in striking this last great blow w, we will need all of our military personnel to bring about the showdown in the pacific. military necessity degrees all men suited to this type of warfare to be waged against the pacific so, must remain in service as long as they are essential. however, certain kinds of troops will not all be needed to meet the vast but special demands of the pacific theater. with this in mind, the war department, for some months, has been formulating a plan for the return of nonessential soldiers to civilian life. briefly, the plan is this -- men surplus to the needs of each
overseas bidder and the continental united states will be assembled in the u.s. from among these men, some will be designated essential and a substantial number will be designated as nonessential to the new military needs of the army as a whole and will be returned to civilian life according to certain priorities. taking the european theater as an example, the war department has informed the commanding general of that theater of the types and numbers of these units needed in the pacific. and the types and numbers of these units which will remain as occupation troops. and the types in units which have become surplus. to return these surplus units as is to the unites states with their present personnel will be the simplest and easiest method. however, the war department does not believe this to be the fairest method. the fairest is to select surplus men from throughout the theater as individuals, using thoroughly impartial standards. to help arrive at such fair and
impartial standards, the war department has conducted test poles along -- test polls among the men and experts were sent into a pain a cross-section of enlisted men everywhere who voice their opinions anonymously and briefly. >> let the men who and in the longest out first. >> i think the men who have served overseas should get out first. >> let the men over 30 out >> first. i'm in favor of letting men with children out first. >> let the men with dependence out first. >> men who have served overseas. >> men who have served overseas. >> men who have been in the army longest. >> men with dependence. >> men with children who have served overseas. >> the poll said that those who had served overseas and those with dependents should be the first to be returned to civilian life. the war department has worked out a plan which best meets the
test of justice and impartiality. as part of the plan, this adjusted service rating card will be issued and you will be scored on the four factors that will determine your priority of separation. these are 1) service credit, which is based upon the total number of months of army service you have had since september 16, 1940. 2) overseas credit, based on the number of months you have served overseas. 3) combat credit -- which will give you credit for the number of bronze service stars you have earned as well as additional credit for other decoration. 4) parenthood credit, which would give you credit for each dependent child under 18 years up to a limit of three children. this is the way it works. suppose you have in the army 19 months since 1940. september 16, across from service credits, 19 would be put in column one under the heading number.
in column two, under multiply by would be put a number which the , theater commander will give you. suppose the number is one -- that would be put in column number two. number -- call number three, column one multiplied by column two. in this case, it would be 19. across from overseas credit and column one, put the number of months you spent overseas. suppose it is 14. in column two, you again put down a number the theater commander will give you. suppose it is two. in column three, multiply 14 by two and put down 28. combat credit -- suppose you have been in two separate campaigns and are entitled to two bronze service stars and suppose you have also won the purple heart. that gives you three decorations. under column one, you put down three. for column two, suppose the theater commander announces number three.
column three will be three times three, or nine. if you have two children under 18, a two is put in column one across from parenthood credit. in column two, suppose the theater commander says the numbers four -- then column number three would be two times four or adding up all your eight. credits, you get a total of 64. this is your priority credit score. this is the score that will be used to select out surplus men from the theaters and the united states. this will also be the score that will be used when a certain portion of these surplus men will be declared nonessential and return to civilian life. remember, the numbers put down here under column to -- two are just hypothetical. your theater commander will announce to you the exact numbers to put in this column. they will be the same all over the world. then, whether you make out your own score or it is made out for you, you will understand it and
where you stand in relation to no where you stand in relation to the men about you. that is the plan of reduction and it will ultimately work out . we will separate those men with overseas and combat service and provide an extra opportunity for those men with dependent children. you may ask, how will this affect me? in all cases, the demands of military necessity and the needs of the war against japan must be met. it is important that this phrase, "military necessity" is thoroughly understood. it is unfortunate but true that regardless of priority standing, certain types of units and certain types of personnel can never become certain as long as the war against japan continues because of the needs and nature of that war.
let us hear from general henry h. arnold in regards to how the plan will apply to the air forces. >> men of the air forces, you have smashed your opponent in europe. you have succeeded magnificently. and we are proud of you. now, we must smash japan. we must carry the war to every part of her empire, no matter how remote. our tactical operations and our strategic bombardment must be closely coordinated with the efforts of the ground and sea forces, in the all-out invasion of japan. that is where you come in. an overwhelming air force in the pacific is indispensable. so what have we to do? we must concentrate our air strength against japan in the shortest possible time. because of the great distances
in the pacific, it will take more than twice as many planes and men to drop a thousand tons of bombs on japan as was required in the bombing of germany. as we approach tokyo, our task becomes far more complicated. new airbases must be established on the asiatic mainland and on the captured islands adjacent thereto. many of these bases must be supplied by air. we will run into violent opposition, and yet, japan is wide open for area bombardment. their cities are far more concentrated than those of germany. you cannot disperse. with all of our air strength japan can be defeated in the shortest time and the least cost to american lives. now, to answer your questions. will any of the men from the air forces be released? yes, they will.
but only after the air forces have moved combat troops and supporting ground forces from various parts of the world into the pacific area. men will be released as fast as they can be replaced by men from the ground forces or by new inductees. but remember, only after they have been replaced. eventually, men of the air forces will be replaced in the same ratio as men from other branches of the army. but most of us will be required, by military necessities, to remain until the job is completed. general jimmy doolittle began the bombardment of japan with a handful of planes. we are going to finish it.
>> how will the war department's plan in separating nonessential men operate in regard to the service forces? general sommerville has a message concerning this. >> so far, you men of the service forces have accomplished miracles. miracles in supply and construction and communication in transportation and sanitation and health. but our job is tougher in the pacific. one service force man could keep two-and-a-half men firing in europe. in the pacific, one service force man can only keep one and a half men firing. supply lines are longer, our bases are more widely scattered. we will find no ready-made cities and roads. we will have to construct our
own roads, own communication lines through the more primitive kinds of countries. we will have to hack base after base out of swamp and jungle. with every step forward, greater medical and sanitation problems arise. we take our kind of world right along with our army. this means the work of the army service forces is of the greatest immediate importance. therefore, reduction in strength must be slow at first. more and more men will be separated as readjustments in the army take place. but right now, meeting the task is the number one priority. we will find nothing ready-made for us in the pacific, nothing but tough assignments. there will be plenty of them. we in the service forces must get them behind us before our job is done.
>> lieutenant general leslie j. mcnair of the ground forces said a few words shortly before he gave his life for his company on the normandy front. >> the plan is to move against japan with all the strength we can employ respectively. the more overwhelmingly we tackle them, the sooner the job will be finished and the furor will be the losses. some will be transferred from one branch to another in order to balance the new forces. some will not be needed and will -- may go home. i know that ground forces everywhere are going to rise to this new demand and see the entire war through to a finish that is a finish. >> you will see how the readjustment of the army, based on military necessity, will take place on a worldwide scale. for simplicity of explanation, we will describe its workings in each of the three theaters that
now exist. these are one, and it -- an inactive overseas theater like the european or caribbean. number two, an active overseas theater like the southwest pacific or china, burma area. and three, the continental united states. let's examine an inactive theater like europe first. the war department has given the commanding general of that theater his new troop strength and has made known to him the numbers and types of units which are now surplus. these will be units of various types, such as armored divisions, artillery battalions, infantry divisions, ordnance companies, or other units as the case may be. let us take the infantry as an example, and let us assume there are four infantry divisions in the theater and that one has become surplus. the theater commander will bring them in according to priority credit scores in all divisions.
select the top four and designate these men as surplus. you will ensure all of the men in the surplus division were not surplus in the active divisions. then transfer all the surplus men into the surplus division, which will serve as a vehicle for even truly returning them to the united states. remember, military necessity governs this selection and transfer. that means no man in a unit that remains in service can become surplus until a qualified replacement is available. if military necessity should entail the immediate transfer to -- of a certain unit to the pacific there may conceivably be , no time to acquire that plan to the unit for the emergency -- before the emergency transfers made. consideration will be given these men when they arrive in the pacific theater. the same processes will take place among all the types of surplus unit in the theater. but the type of men that will be declared surplus will be determined by the type of unit that becomes surplus.
the active units needed against japan will now be shipped to the pacific. those units required for occupation duty will be sent to their stations. the surplus units will be returned to the united states as quickly as possible. in the united states, the men of these surplus units will revert back to a surplus pool in the ground forces, air forces, or service forces as is necessary. it is from these surplus that the various types of army personnel reductions will be made. they will be chosen from among those with the highest priority -- they will be chosen from among those with the highest priority scores. however, the rate of return of surplus men from overseas will depend on the number of ships that can be spared over and above the thousands required to supply our fighting theater in the pacific. the pacific theater is the number one priority. all else must wait. we must transfer millions of
fighting men, millions of tons of landing parts, tanks, planes, guns, ammunition, and food. over longer supply lines then we had in europe. this means most of the ships and planes used to supply the once active european theater will be needed to supply the active is -- pacific area. the majority of ships that do proceed to europe will continue to the pacific laden with troops and supplies for that distant campaign. very few will turn around and come back to the united states. that's why we cannot return all the surplus men to the united states at one time and why it may take many months. during the time such men are waiting for their return to go home, a complete program of educational and vocational training will be available to them. while this process of selecting and returning men to the european theater is taking place, a plan for readjustment will also be applied in the
active overseas theaters like the southwest pacific. men in those theaters will be declared surplus to the extent that replacements can be provided. naturally, since the pacific is now the only active area, we know there are no surplus units of any type there. military requirements of their will demand an increase rather than a decrease in fighting units. nevertheless, troops in the pacific area will benefit from a reduction of the army not as units but as individuals. the commanding general of each active pacific theater has been allotted his quota of the numbers and types of men who can be replaced and he will select these men using the same standards you have seen to determine priority of return. these men will then be returned to the united states as rapidly as replacements of the same type become available and as the military situation will permit. take the infantry, again as an , example. normally, there would be a great flow of men needed to maintain a
defensive against japan. if say 5000 infantry replacements, over and above the normal number, can be shipped to the pacific, then then 5000 infantrymen with the highest priority credits course can be declared surplus and returned to the ground forces surplus pool in the united states where their scores will determine whether they are to be among that number of infantrymen no longer essential to the army. simultaneously, with the selection and return of the men in the overseas theaters, the same process will be taking place among the troops stationed in the continental united states. frankly, the troops in the united states will serve as the main reservoir of replacements for the overseas theater. in general there -- their priority credit scores will be lower than the men who served overseas and have seen combat duty. the european system will apply and the united states. the commanding generals of the three forces that comprise the
army -- ground, service, and air -- have already been given the numbers and types of individuals within their command who have become surplus or can be replaced. they will transfer their surplus men to be surplus pool for designation of e central or nonessential, iv has seen. if any man has been declared nonessential under the plan remains in the army, such a man will not be forced out if he can be usefully employed. in the case of the army's officers military necessity will determine which ones are nonessential and will be separated only as they can be spared. and our women's army corps has not been forgotten. the women's army corps is an integral part of our armed forces and a priority for release among its members will be determined just as in the rest of the army. but treating the core as a separate group. credit will begin to the former women's exilic core. however soldiers of the women's , army corps whose husbands have
been separated from the army will be discharged on application. you now have seen how the worldwide readjustments in the army will take place. the surplus men from all overseas theaters and the continental united states will be reassembled under their respective commands in the united states surplus pools. there will be some reduction in the grounds forces. there will be somewhat less reduction in the service portion. there were be practically no immediate reduction in the air forces. the air forces and service forces will separate a share of men proportionate with the ground forces. you also know that were ever possible for men -- the men to be returned to civilian life will be those with the highest credit scores based on combat service, and number of dependent children. you also know that the great
majority of men to be released come from overseas. those who must stay on active duty have a job to do. and in tradition of the american soldiers, it is not a question of whether we will win but how quickly and thoroughly we can do the job. upon you, the men who remain an active's earth is -- active service, others may read history, others may write it, but you men will make history. to down, one to go. now make it three. ♪